Tillerson: Steps Already Underway for US Removal of Assad

Says Assad Will Have 'No Role' in Syria in the Future

Not long after officials began confirming that President Trump was “considering” military action against Syria to remove President Bashar Assad from power, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed that “steps are under way” in the administration for Assad’s ouster.

Exactly what those steps are isn’t totally clear, but Tillerson talked up the idea of an “international community effort” that would both defeat ISIS and remove Assad from power, in additional to “stabilizing” Syria as a whole. Comments from officials familiar with the situation suggest this is almost certain to be military action.

Tillerson went on to say that Assad could have no role in the future government of Syria, and that the US would take an “appropriate response” against him to ensure that this does not happen. Tillerson has insisted only a few days ago that the US was not seeking regime change.

But while seemingly every political figure in the Trump Administration is on board for this war, military and intelligence personnel are said to be increasingly concerned with the narrative line of the government, saying they have major doubts about the Assad gas attack narrative, and are concerned this will escalate into war on a false pretext.

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi was interviewed on the matter, saying many US intelligence officials believe the Russian narrative that the Syrian airstrike was a conventional bomb that hit an al-Qaeda chemical cache. He added that the US narrative made no sense because Assad would have no motive to launch such a strike.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.